Our Favorite Features of 2022

Our Favorite Features of 2022

Gif of our favorite features of 2022
Serious Eats / Amanda Suarez

As 2022 comes to a close, we wanted to take a moment to highlight some of the incredible stories we published on Serious Eats this year. Our staff, along with a wonderful group of contributors, make it possible for us to share thoughtful, fun, and informative stories with our readers—and we couldn’t let the year come to an end without sharing some of our favorite pieces. Though it’s tough to pick from so many excellent features, the stories below are the ones we enjoyed reading the most, and the ones we’ve continued to think about.

From China: The Future of the Wok

A factory worker polishes a hand-hammered wok under two lightbulbls
Serious Eats / Graeme Kennedy

This essay was one of the most ambitious Serious Eats has ever commissioned, and I’m very proud of the final result. Writer Christopher St. Cavish brought so much thought and care to every element of the story, drawing on years of his prior work tracking hand-hammered woks in Shanghai and building on it with trips to other parts of China. The result is a mix of profile, memoir, and cultural and culinary reporting, all to produce a thoughtful snapshot of the past, present, and future of the wok in the country that created it. —Daniel Gritzer, senior culinary director

All About Labaneh

Overhead view of a plate of labneh with zatar pita chips surrounded by a grocery store container of labneh, a bowl of zatar, and a plate of pita chips
Serious Eats / Amanda Suarez

I love Yasmine’s feature on labaneh. It’s informative and insightful, and she does a wonderful job weaving her own experience with the ingredient throughout the piece. —Amanda Suarez, senior visual editor

A Vegetarian’s Christmas Eve Pig Roast

A colorful and dense illustration of a festive cuban pig roast in Miami
Serious Eats / Marla Cruz Linares

We’ve published many lovely features this year, but my favorite is from a new contributor, Vanessa Garcia. Her story about feeling personally compelled to revive her Cuban family’s cultural tradition of the Buena Noche (Christmas Eve) pig roast—despite being a vegetarian!—wasn’t just evocative and well-written, it dug deep into what the holidays meant for her. I was touched by how important it was that she continue the tradition for her own child, even if it ran contrary to how she prefers to eat, and that combination of personal sacrifice and cultural remembrance brought a tear to my eye. Like the Grinch, my small heart grew three sizes after reading it. —Jake Dean, updates editor

The Wok Shop’s Tane Chan on Her Life and Business

Tane Chan holding a wok in The Wok Shop
Serious Eats / Todd Coleman

It was such a joy to read Yasmine’s profile of Tane Chan and her store, The Wok Shop, in our first digital issue, The Wok. Chan’s enthusiasm and passion for woks comes through in her words and her puns. She hooks you right at the beginning, sharing her story about her childhood in New Mexico to her move to San Francisco and the opening of her first Chinaware store in 1969. It makes me endlessly happy to see that she’s thriving in her element. Like Chan says, “Woks for all walks of life, okay?” —Kristina Razon, editor

Can You Stop Beans From Making You Fart? We Put 17 Methods to the Test

Illustration of an imaginary desk in a lab at Harvard working on a bean study
Serious Eats / Michelle Kondrich

This was such a great scientific deep-dive into beans and trapped gas! If you enjoy eating beans, something tells me you’ve looked into methods on how to effectively reduce your farts, like soaking beans, discarding the soaking water, or rinsing your cooked beans. But do any of those methods actually work? Dave Arnold partnered with the Harvard “Fart Squad” to find out once and for all. It’s nerdy and fun—my favorite kind of Serious Eats story! —Genevieve Yam, culinary editor

We Tested 11 Air Fryers (and Cooked 30 Pounds of Potatoes) to Find the Best

A hand pulling out the basket on an air fryer
Serious Eats / Riddley Gemperlein-Schirm

It feels entirely too braggadocious to call my own piece my favorite feature of the year, but it was so much fun to test and write. Prior to my review, Serious Eats didn’t have any air fryer content (just one recipe!), so it was great to form an opinion on a new-to-us piece of gear and help shape the sort of content we may do on air fryers in the future. My other favorite features from this year include this wok review, this comparison of Vitamix blenders, this review of whipping siphons, and this re-do we did of the best soda machines for our recent Bubbles! digital issue. —Riddley Gemperlein-Schirm, commerce editor

Does Your Beer Glass Really Matter? We Consulted a Beer Expert to Find Out

pouring beer into tulip glass
Serious Eats / Grace Kelly

Like Riddley, I feel all kinds of wrong highlighting my own work as my favorite feature of the year, but this piece was just so fun to research and write—especially since I got to chat with my husband’s beer-world hero! What with the rise of craft beer (and the ensuing beer drinking snobbery), it was fun to dive into whether or not a beer glass will make or break that $25 bottle of spontaneously fermented beer aged for two years on Montmorency cherries (hand-picked, in season, of course). The short answer is: the glass isn’t a big deal (unless you’re using a shaker pint glass, in which case, we gently advise you to use a wine glass or invest in a set of tulip glasses; it’s for the best). I loved the history and lore behind various beer glass styles, but also that, in the end, you should just drink from whatever makes you happy. And in my case, it’s a bierstiefel, a.k.a. a 1-liter boot-shaped glass that, if sipped from incorrectly, will leave you drenched in beer. While I’m only being slightly serious, it really is a fun glass to drink from, and certainly will earn you a few disapproving (or approving, depending on your crowd) glances. —Grace Kelly, associate commerce editor

Bloom Phase: How to Read the Bubbles In Your Coffee

A collage of coffee blooms at various stages
Serious Eats / Ashley Rodriguez

No matter how many coffee articles I read from Ashley Rodriguez, I’m always floored by how thoughtful she is when explaining tricky scientific processes. She can make even the drollest technical details about trapped CO2 feel personable, and this piece is such a great in-depth explainer about a very minute part of coffee brewing. It’s one of the best articles about coffee that was written this year on any platform, and I think it deserves the spotlight (even if it is a conflict of interest to hype up the work of my partner!). —Jesse Raub, commerce writer

A Tale of Two Cream Teas: Why the British Are Still Arguing Over

A cream tea prepared the Devon way next to a cream tea prepared the Cornish way
Photo courtesy of The English Cream Tea Company, Graphic / Serious Eats

When Samantha Priestley first pitched this piece, I knew our heavily opinionated audience would have a lot to say—and oh was I right! Many of you dear readers sounded off in the comments on Facebook and Instagram, debating over the “correct” way to assemble a cream tea. Who knew something as simple as eating a scone could bring about so much conflict? Samantha was able to take such a basic topic and trace its history back to the 11th century. I loved learning all about the lighthearted British controversy and its origins. I’ve yet to try comparing the methods and forming an opinion myself, but I will be sure to report back when I do! —Yasmine Maggio, associate editor